Our Own House
is the first LP effort from MisterWives
. The band has risen from the relative obscurity of Brooklyn gig huts, to their first headlining tour in the space of two years, but the real hats go off to Mandy Lee Duffy. Duffy is that dangerously formulaic photogenic female singer/songwriter, and she composed every hi-fi pop song on the record. Her sweepingly youthful relatability is what might tempt the music critic to toss Our Own House
on the pile of solid, sunny, and slightly boring pop without giving it a proper ear. Shed the shade, the album is an excellent intro, and an exciting preview.
The record's pop sensibility floats towards sentimental ska. The collection of songs are a showcase of Duffy's vocal command, the band's proclivity for freaky funk, and a wide range of party anthems that harness the blitz bop of another age. The title and opening track, "Our Own House," sneaks in with a bassy synth ambiance before exploding into a brassy medley you could tango, mosh or skank to. And if danceability isn't your preferred measure of pop music, Duffy's lung-puncturing vocals fire out lyrics that beg to be sung to.
Inject the energy of amphetamine's, the likability of blue skies, and the untarnished innocence of a rapidly rough and tumble rise to the top. "Reflections," the lead single that's already hit the charts, is a rambunctious mood swing of the most pleasant persuasion that starts in with icy synths and a hovering head voice before plunging down a staircase into the basement house party below. The best sonic comparison is probably to line up the release with something like Rubblebucket. It's an album that understand hyper elation. It's just the kind of sound that makes you feel good.
The album is solid and enjoyable, but at it's best it's an exciting introduction to a young and capable powerhouse of sound. Whether or not it's your genre of choice, and I can't promise that everyone has the energetic tolerance for this devastating dose of early twenties, it's undeniable proof of talent. Mandy is barely 21 years old, and an actively composing, uncorkable bottle of unadulterated spunk with complicated things on her mind. Home, love, loss, and identity are the central themes of Our Own House
, but examined through the authentically confused lens of post-parentally monitored party monsters. MisterWives is the ska-pop Florence + The Machine with the bounce of a younger No Doubt. A delightful vocal explosion, with uncompromising throttle. Duffy's lyrics aren't going to move the beaten and weathered heart of those who have choked on the experiences of life, but they nail to the wall those wide-open waves of the early years of adulthood, and that's no small feat.
MisterWives is an awesome band with an excellently genuine debut. Their sound is mature and experimental in a way that only youth and quick success can harness, and the confusion of the age is palpable. What I'm saying is this: if you find is to be too animated and thrilling, wait for the first record they release in their thirties, but don't write them off. You couldn't shake the promise out of MisterWives if you tried.
Our Own House
is out now on Republic Records, get your copy here
and check out our Dead Kitten session with the band below, featuring their singles "Reflections" and "Vagabond":